comments

Roseville unveils its 65th park

Harrigan Greens named for Roseville resident who bequeathed millions to local charities
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
-A +A

Roseville, a city that prides itself on offering an abundance of greenery and open space for residents, dedicated its 65th park Friday.

Harrigan Greens is located at 4051 Parkland Way, off Fiddyment Road, and is named after the late Virgil Harrigan, who bequeathed more than $5.5 million from his estate to several local charities following his death in January 2009. He was 91 years old.

The two-acre park contains a playground, swings, covered picnic area and open turf area. The neighborhood around the park has yet to be completely built.

“This is a great example of a pocket park and the value they bring to a community,” said Dominick Casey, director of the city’s parks, recreation and libraries department.

Roseville has one of the highest parks-per-capita ratio in the nation with a standard of 9 acres per 1,000 residents, according to city officials.

To honor Harrigan’s Irish ancestry, the designers incorporated the colors of the Irish flag and shaped the park as a four-leaf clover.

“We do have a shamrock, but you can only see the shamrock if you’re 500 feet up in the air,” said Rjahja Canlas, a park analyst with the city.

Harrigan was born in 1918 and graduated from Roseville High School. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and opened his real-estate business in the mid-1960s.

In 1995, a Roseville police officer approached Harrigan about selling an empty Roseville Heights lot for a youth recreation center. He donated the lot, which is now home to the North Roseville Recreation Center.

“I really feel like we’ve been touched by an angel,” said Roseville Mayor Pauline Roccucci. “Not everyone has money to donate and even those with money don’t always donate.”

The park, the mayor said, is a way to recognize Harrigan’s generosity and his impact on Roseville.

“I think he was an absolutely great man and this is a great facility to take his namesake,” Casey said.

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.